Following are excerpts from comments made by Lebanese journalist 'Uqab Saqr, which aired on New TV on February 6, 2006'
'Uqab Saqr: Whenever we question America's values, we must also question our own values. If we ask any question about the American occupation of Iraq, we must also ask: Was Saddam Hussein anything less than the worst occupier of Iraq? Has America, throughout its history, done anything like Saddam Hussein's acts of burning Iraqis? I can understand how an Iraqi child can be completely burnt in an indiscriminating American bombardment, but I cannot understand how Saddam Hussein could melt half of the Iraqi people in acid, and deport the other half.
What does identity mean for the Arab and the Muslim? His identity is based on two elements. The first is hostility towards the other. In other words, I define myself as the enemy of so-and-so. The second is entrenching this hostility. When we define ourselves by our hostility towards the other, whether the Americans or the Israelis – or the so-called "Zio-Americanism", in which they include everything that is Western, non-Muslim and non-Arab... When we say we oppose this, what are we creating? We are creating a culture of opposition.
China did not need to send airplanes to crash into towers, to kill innocent people, and to distort the Chinese culture, in order to be in opposition [to the U.S.]. China has built a strong economy, established a network or relations with the markets, and developed scientific capabilities. Thus, it has managed to challenge the U.S., without declaring its opposition. Japan, too, developed a culture instead of declaring its opposition. How come we in the Arab and Islamic world are regressing, while the West is progressing? Why do we reproduce the culture of hatred? Simply because we lack the ability to develop our own culture, a culture that will move the Arabs and Muslims forward.
The Americans were not present in Mauritania, Sudan or Somalia, and the Israelis never bordered with these countries. Why have these countries become backward? Have they ever been among the countries encircling Israel? No. It is because the problem is within us.